Decade of greed
Leopards don’t change their spots. Just wait a couple of years and these same bailed out people will default on their mortgages again. The problem was they shouldn’t have been given the mortgages in the first place. If you did not have a job and income and were given a mortgage then you were playing monopoly on a board game, the last I remember.
The banks laughed and gleefully spread their form of usury. Now they want some of my money, and I don’t even do business with them. I think we should throw them out of the “temple” once again.
We are in for a long haul. Once again the pendulum of commerce swung to the side of consumption just like the 1920s. An economy based on consumption without production of goods and labor will fail. It was the bread lines of the 1930s that created the greatest generation. I’m not advocating that, but we must learn to live with what we have and not make others pay for what we want.
One other thing: If you think there are only one or two Bernie Madoffs around, send me your money. Greed is what brought this country down. The first decade of the new millennium will be known as the decade of greed. I’m trying to live within my means and hoping you do also.
Randy D. Jackson
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On federal health care
There is a lot of discussion about the best way to fix the health care problem. The answer is very simple. If Congress really wants to fix it, all it has to do is let everyone have the same coverage that government employees have and that includes the Congress. Too expensive? Then cut the program down to a size that will be af-fordable for all.
Why should health care have so many levels? Isn’t it fair for the log truck driver, the plumber, carpenter, social worker, and all other classes of people to have the same health care coverage as the government employees that benefit from the taxes we all pay Uncle Sam?
I’ll bet every doctor and every hospital would be excited to see such a program. More and more doctors are not taking Medicare patients because the rates are too low (set by our government) for them to survive. Smaller hospitals are being forced to eliminate services (look at the hospital in Blue Hill) and in many places are simply closing their doors
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Dueling OpEds right
The OpEds by Arthur Greif and V. Paul Reynolds (BDN, Feb. 20) on the Republican Party and its two Maine senators offer interesting and contrasting perspectives. Regarding Mr. Greif’s OpEd, I agree that the Republican Party has undergone devolution and that Lincoln would weep. Regarding Mr. Reynold’s OpEd, I agree that our senators have pursued fiscal policies on the backs of our children, particularly with regard to the Iraq War.
For reasons of political expediency, the current generation, except those in uniform, has not been asked to make any sacrifices regarding the war in Iraq. Had these sacrifices been asked in late 2002, a reckless President Bush and Congress might not have occupied Iraq, created 4,200+ U.S. casualties, violated the civil rights of millions of Iraq citizens, and run up a wartime bill of $1 trillion. It is because of the Iraq war and a falling gross domestic product that the U.S. national debit is reaching dangerous levels, not the “stimulus.”
The United States is in trouble on many fronts. Several months ago I wrote letters to both my senators indicating the U.S. is in trouble because the Republican Party is not well. I am glad others share my concern.
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Give courts their due
I want to applaud the governor and Legislature for considering raising the rate of pay for Maine judges and justices. So often we have been penny-wise and pound-foolish in our spending.
Judges and justices have extensive education; a minimum of seven years post-high school, and usually nine. Their work is complex, stressful and as responsible as that of a physician, in that not only the most rights and freedoms are at stake, but also, the maintenance of a civil society.
It would be wise to aid our judges by filling the open clerk slots, nearly 50 of which are unfilled. Mailings alone are now taking two weeks from the signing of an order to posting for litigants and counsel. This leads to continuances and other avoidable expenses.
Finally, it would be helpful to fully and reasonably pay court-appointed attorneys who often handle one-quarter of the cases in a given court. This rate needs to come into some fair relation to the responsibility and education required.
Again, however, I am truly glad to see that jurists will now get their due.
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Women not property
The BDN editorial staff should be congratulated on bringing forth the difficult subject of domestic violence (“The Leap To Violence,” BDN editorial, Feb. 23). Maine’s domestic violence homicide rate is alarming, dramatically increased from about 50 percent in 2007 to 65 percent in 2008. These homicides, as suggested, are not the results of anger and rage, but about power and control and the loss of it. Attitudes resulting in stalking, and “ if I can’t have her no one can” manifest the assumption that women are property and “belong” to their intimate partner.
As the editorial suggests, our society may not encourage males to explore and acknowledge hurt, loneliness or fear. However, all too often society does encourage attitudes of entitlement and sexism. Women are often viewed as less equal, without the right to say “no” or to walk away from a relationship.
Leaving an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time for the victim and family. We read of the tragic results all too often, yet, victims do leave; safely, quietly and, away from the abuse, begin to courageously rebuild their lives and the lives of their children. School based educators from both domestic violence and sexual assault agencies offer a variety of programs designed to teach children about healthful relationships. These programs, tailored for age-appropriate learning, maybe the best approach to “rewiring” our collective attitudes. Perhaps our Legislature should take a good hard look at making this kind of education mandatory in all of our schools.